“Spill. What’s on your mind?”
This is one of the prompts in Phaedra Boyd’s tactile journal Reconnect with Reality.
Phaedra and her company Tuch Grass won the Young Enterprise Scheme Manawatū-Whanganui final and will compete in the nationals in Wellington on Monday.
Phaedra is happy to spill what is on her mind.
She has witnessed many friends struggle without a healthy outlet for their emotions. In particular, she has noticed guys don’t tell anyone they are struggling and it bothers her she can’t always be there to give advice or a listening ear.
So she developed the journal to offer a safe place 24/7.
Each page has a prompt to help the owner capture their thoughts. Some are her originals including “Make eye contact with the world”.
Phaedra, 17, says the mental health of teens and young adults is often disregarded and seen as invalid due to their youth.
Men lack resources to help themselves and are falling through the cracks.
Phaedra, who has just finished Year 13 at Freyberg High School, constantly went back to her guy friends for feedback on the writing prompts.
There is space for negative comments with the writer encouraged to then scribble over them, tear up the page and throw it away as a cathartic exercise.
One page asks the journal owner to try their hardest to make it smell nice.
Phaedra says people can pick and choose the order of the pages they fill.
“You do the ones you want to and you do them in ways that you choose.”
The journal’s cover is marine plywood. Phaedra says young men connect well to wood and the cover is tactile with laser engravings.
While Phaedra put much thought into what would work for young men, she says the journal is for everyone.
Engaging the sense of touch continues inside the journal with four of Phaedra’s handprints made from woodcuts.
Each print is unique as the ink dries differently, making each journal unique. The artwork helps ground the reader, she says, allowing them to practise becoming fully aware of one’s surroundings to break free from overwhelming thoughts and emotions.
The lion signifies strength, the rising phoenix that things will get better, the metamorphosis of a butterfly growth, and a ship navigating a storm that life is hard work but worth it.
The framed prints are also sold separately.
Youthline Central North Island has endorsed the journal and Phaedra has launched a Boosted crowdfunding campaign to produce 100 journals for Youthline.
She has also launched a Givealittle appeal she so can buy an etching press, paper cutter and art supplies as she no longer has access to these at Freyberg.
Phaedra is seeking fulltime work and will continue to run Tuch Grass. Mid-2024 she will start a business degree at UCOL Te Pūkenga.
This was her first year in the Young Enterprise Scheme and she spent so much time perfecting her product she didn’t have anything to sell until August. At her first market that month she sold out.
On Monday, Phaedra will need to do a five-minute pitch followed by three minutes of questions from a panel of judges.
For the regionals she was the only contestant who delivered their pitch without cue cards, something she says helped her engage with the audience.
Tuch Grass also won the Social Impact Award.
Other regional awards went to:
Best Scoring Annual Review: Words of Worth
Top Marketing Award: Words of Worth
Aotearoa Award: Barracuda
Enviro Award: Ora Ana
Sharp Shooter Award: Green Paws
The Brave Award: Stutterfly
Teacher of the Year: Dillan Korkie from Cornerstone Christian School
The journal and prints can be bought at tuch-grass.mystorbie.com.
$1 from each purchase goes to Movember and $1 to Youthline.